The effect of one-to-one learning extends beyond providing convenient access to technology, it also improves learning and reduces behavioral problems, according to research conducted by Project RED, a research organization sponsored by Intel and Hewlett-Packard.
In school districts where one-to-one was “properly implemented,” Project RED’s research found that 90 percent of schools reported an improvement in high-stakes test scores, 89 percent a reduction in the dropout rate and 92 percent a drop in disciplinary action.
The findings have led the group to put its research to use in what the organization is calling Project RED Signature Districts. Schools selected for the program will benefit from the support and guidance of the organization on implementing and maintaining a results-focused one-to-one learning program, the organization explains.
Project RED will offer the 20 Signature Districts customized support throughout the technology implementation process while encouraging collaboration among these education leaders. Project RED will encourage each Signature District to align its direction with the research-based strategies of the Project RED Design™, a blueprint for implementing technology-based school reform.
For a period of three years, each district will publish its findings to the Signature District community and will serve as best-practice models for other districts interested in successful technology planning.
The 20 lucky school districts chosen by Project RED to become a Signature District are:
- Charleston County Schools, S.C.
- Clark County School District, Nev.
- East Noble School Corporation, Ind.
- Ferndale School District, Wash.
- Huntsville City Schools, Ala.
- Joplin Schools, Mo.
- Kent School District, Wash.
- Kuna School District, Idaho
- Natick Public Schools, Mass.
- Owensboro Public Schools, Ky.
- Poway Unified School District, Calif.
- Quakertown Community School District, Pa.
- Reeds Springs School District, Mo.
- Richland School District Two, S.C.
- Salisbury Township Schools, Pa.
- Sioux City Community Schools, Iowa
- Southern Lehigh School District, Pa.
- Springfield Public Schools, N.J.
- Sunnyside School District, Ariz.
- Walled Lake Consolidated Schools, Mich.
Participation in Project RED’s program has already resulted in fruitful collaboration with other districts and peers, say Pennsylvania educators Randy Ziegenfuss, assistant superintendent of Salisbury Township Schools, and Tom Murray, director of technology and cyber education for Quakertown Community School District.
"Much of the contact I have on a daily basis now is with people in Idaho and Iowa, so what we can share and learn from each other is pretty huge. Even five years ago, that would not have been possible," Murray said in an article in The Morning Call.
"We are all working toward the same things, like increasing student achievement and reducing our costs," Ziegenfuss added in the same story.
In a world where BYOD is rising in popularity, some might question a one-to-one approach, but there’s no reason the two can’t live in harmony.
The Hanover Public School District in Pennsylvania is considering a hybrid BYOD/one-to-one solution in which the district would only purchase low-cost notebooks or netbooks for students who don’t have their own, EdTech reported in April. This move would save the district money on computer purchases, while accommodating the personalized technology needs of its students.
Whatever the method, school-purchased or BYOD, it’s clear that one (device per child) is the magic number for technology-powered learning.